tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 22, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
truck stop we found the propane tank actually venting itself. >> thank you, steve. steve, listen, if you can get more video, we would appreciate it but we want you to be safe and thank you for joining us. listen, tell our viewers we're following some breaking news here on cnn about the devastation that's happening in joplin, missouri. breaking news out of joplin, missouri. i'm don lemon. a short time ago, a powerful tornado leveled a big chunk of the city and some of the worst damage is that the st. john's on the and the surrounding neighborhood almost nothing left standing. some of the first pictures coming in from cnn i-reporters and storm chasers, and also this video, and i want to warn you, you can see children here and can you see people who don't know what's going on, trying to figure out what's going to happen here, frightened people.
it's from chasertv.com. rob, roll it. >> oh, my. >> and then just a short time ago, storm chaser, his name is steve polly got out in the middle of this driving on the interstate, and he said he didn't think he was going to make it touch and go for a while. these videos he took at a gas station. listen. >> come on. >> yes, it is.
>> all right. our jacqui jeras, our meteorologist joins us now. some officials in missouri reporting that there are at least as many as 24 fatalities from this tornado that touched down, and they are saying there's widespread damage across the city's south side. >> that's right, don. it was just an incredible tornado that touched down just before 6:00 local time there. a multi-vortex tornado touched down in downtown joplin and just stripped a path of destruction through the city. there are many buildings which have been damaged. homes have been flattened and trees broken off and stripped from their bark, and, unfortunately, we're concerned that that death toll is up and many more injuries in addition to that. this is a large wedge tornado, as wide as half a mile to three-quarters of a mile wide that we moved through and you think it's likely that there's
an ef-3 or other tornado which we would call a major tornado. moved through a very large scale area. search and rescue continues to go on at this hour. reports of people trapped in their homes and reports of people trapped in their vehicles as well, so this is going to be ongoing tonight. now that the sun is going down. going to be hard to find the people. communication is very spotty and power is out through many parts of the city here, and there's so many people injured. damage to the hospital. have to set up a triage center to try to help the walking wounded people and try and help those out in this situation so it's just an incredible situation unfolding in joplin, missouri. unfortunately it's very reminiscent of what happened just a few weeks ago in northern alabama. >> absolutely. jacqui jeras, to our viewers, here's the reality of it. 24 fatalities reported so far. widespread damage across the city from a tornado touching
down. they don't know how many fay tlts or injuries in all of this. people there being called the walking wounded and as jacqui walking wounded. i-44 is closed down because of damage, and here's what we're hearing from the governor of missouri. he said significant law enforcement assets and the national guard are now being deployed, now being deployed, and so we're trying to get all those people on the ground. when you hear those people being deployed. chad myers, our meteorologist joining us by phone, you know that this is big trouble. >> well, you just don't have enough people involved locally to make it all happen without bringing in people from around the state or for that matter around the country. you need the law, doctors and nurses. when you have this much destruction moving through joplin and when we get bethany
scutti, our i-reporter back on the line, don, i want to get a chance, because he's been driving around joplin. want to ask you, where literally north or south of the city does the damage begin. drove and walked into it. there are people out there worrying about their loved ones and they literally cannot get ahold of the loved ones now. the cell service overwhelmed. law enforcement and everyone trying to help everyone else and at this point you have to at least in the next few hours, you have to help yourself. you cannot count on anyone being there for the next few hours. help yourself, help your neighbors and literally battened down and don't move unless they tell you to move. i don't believe, and maybe jacqui jeras can help me out, i don't believe there's any more weather coming out behind it. an hour or two hours later another big storm comes through to just do even more damage and blow things around that are already broken so it's one of those things, take care of
yourself, but now that better more equipped larger numbers of help will be coming that way, now is time to take care of yourself by tomorrow morning. those assets willjacqui, stay t. bethany scutti is live with us now. have you made it to the hospital? >> i'm standing right in front of it right now. >> what are you seeing? >> it is devastated. it is still standing, but it looks like every window is blown out. there's debris everywhere. trees are down and cars are stacked on top of each other and it is a mess. >> are you seeing any patients? >> i did not see patients. they have a treage.
they have several triage center from that so there are tense setups across. i sent some pictures. i'm not sure if you got them. i'm going to make my way back over there. took them to some of the hospitals. did i talk to an rn who said that they lost four patients, and there's equipment around. there's a lot of scurrying. they are gathering things and just trying to gather up what they can. >> hey, bethany, wow, listen. do me -- that's a picture of the hospital. is this bethany's picture, or is this from -- no, okay. this is from one of our afils. bethany, do me a favor. describe to our viewers what that hospital looks like, how big it is, how tall it is, is there a parking structure on the side, and the damage that you're seeing. >> okay. >> the hospital as i'm standing in front of it has about seven
stories and another building on the right has a couple more stories attached to it. every window looks to be blown out. the main entrance sign is a mess. the glass is blown out and there's just cars stacked all over the parking lot, and there are still cars parked in front as if they are going into the hospital, and they are destroyed. there's still a fountain going. interesting. as we talked there is lightning going across the sky and i'm looking at the destruction of the hospital. >> so bethany, just a little bit of feedback there, so you said obviously you're friends with some doctors and hospital staff and you saw an rn and saw an rn and that rn said they lost four patients?
>> she did. she said that there were four patients that they lost, and it could be more that she wasn't aware of and most people wouldn't anything when i tried to talk to them, but she did mention that she lost four patients. >> okay. >> hey bethany, don't go anywhere, i-reporters on top of it. appreciate our i-reporters, and if you send it to i-report.com. firstname.lastname@example.org. listen, i want to go to the person who shot those pictures. put those pictures back up to me. jamie green with the "wichita eagle." walk us through these pictures, please. >> well, i'm not looking in the pictures right now so let me get out of there, so they were taken -- well, let me backtrack and tell me that i was actually in joplin, missouri shooting a wedding for a friend, and -- and
my best friend and her 6 yearly daughter and i got caught on the way back from the wedding, and we were actually -- we were about a quarter of a mile away from st. john's hospital so some of the pictures you can see of st. john's hospital, which i understand has been badly damaged, and then we wanted to get out of town pretty quickly so we actually waited there a couple of hours, about an hour i guess and we weren't sure what to do until we were finally able to leave and then i shot some photos on the way out of town. i think you might see a couple of photos of pickup trucks with what looks like some people in the back. wasn't sure their condition. not really sure and i saw a couple of pickup trucks. saw a couple of cars with no windows driving down. a couple of power lines down. trees snapped. roofs gone and what not, just -- just chaos, and -- and i've seen
a lot of tornado damage, and this is pretty bad. >> when you see people in the back of pickups, were these people in the hospital, or were these people on their way to the hospital? >> they were on their way to a hospital and not st. john's. i believe it's freeman hospital. i saw two different pickups trying desperately to meander in and out of traffic, you know, and both of those pickups had what was maybe two emergency volunteers in the bed of the truck, kind of, you know, over them, and both of the pickups had two people in the back. >> so that's the picture we're looking at right now. my gosh, jamie, that's unbelievable, and you must just stand there wanting to helping people and realizing there's not much you can do. >> absolutely, you know, and -- and, you know, i was surprised. we were able to get in and out of traffic pretty quickly, and
those people in the truck, people were very security yourks obviously, and they were able to move out of the way, you know, and the truck kept honking, and it looked like it was going to the hospital obviously to get them some care. >> don't go anywhere. we'll continue to talk about these pictures. this was going so fast on twitter, monitoring my twitter feed and someone sent a message. an official looking message that said if there's any available medical personnel to please head to joplin, missouri, to help out. it's going so quickly it went down to my feed. i want to say again on cnn, any available medical professionals, according to someone here on twitter and to me it looked like an official tweet, to head to joplin, missouri, to help out. also fema is standing by saying they are standing ready to support missouri after the tornadoes and the severe weather. that e-mail and that is just crossing the wire here into cnn. it's unbelievable. we have jamie green on the phone
who shot those pictures. she was working shooting a wedding, shooting wedding photographs and then got caught up on in. one of the storm chasers said the same thing and one of our iyorters on the ground at the hospital. bethany scutti, and she said the windows are blown out and she can't believe it. our meteorologist jacqui jeras with us as well and also chad myers and much, much more as these new pictures come in and we begin to uncover exactly what happened in joplin, missouri, and it's not good. ♪ [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call
to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. how about both? with covergirl lashblast fusion. our biggest brush meets our fiberstretch formula for a blast of volume and length. lashblast fusion. from easy, breezy, beautiful covergirl. [ airplane engine whines ] [ grunts ] [ dog barking ] gah! [ children shouting ] [ grunts ] [ whacking piñata ] [ whacking piñata, grunting ] the authentic, the rare, the hard to define.
to those always searching for what's pure and what's real from we who believe we know just how you feel. haagen-dazs. festival of shrimp for just $11.99. create your own combination of two of our most tempting selections from favorites to new creations for just $11.99 during the festival of shrimp. ending soon at red lobster.
personal pricing now on brakes. tell us what you want to pay. we do our best to make that work. deal! my money. my choice. my meineke. joplin, missouri, hit by a devastating tornado tonight. it just tore through the place. a big part of the city damaged. homes are gone. there are reports as many as 24, if not more people who have died from the storm. i want to get to jamie green now who shot these amazing pictures and what may be one of the pictures that define this whole store. it's of the hospital, st. john hospital in joplin, missouri. the windows blown out and the place really in shambles. when you took that picture, what were you thinking? >> well, i just wanted to
document it. it was kind of tough because we were dealing with our own issues, you know, one of the unusual times that, you know, i was living the news event, you know what i mean, so i was with my best friend, she and her 6-year-old daughter. had just gone to her wedding and most all of the people we love in the world are out there somewhere so we're desperately trying to figure out where they were. pretty scary times so i wanted to make sure i document what had was in front of me at that point. >> and this other picture unbelievable, and jaime works for "the wichita eagle," a photographer and this one, people trying to get to the hospital in the back of a pickup truck. >> i actually photographed on that on the way out of town of my car with the windows down and, you know, i shot it and
then just really kind of prayed that those people are okay, you know. i don't know. >> after driving down the interstate and you're witnessing this, you can see just how powerful those winds are or were because you see this 18-wheeler, and there were a number of them on their side turned over. amazing. >> yeah. >> so you were six miles away when you were in the middle of this or did you just kind of come up and there's another angle with that picture. this is freeman hospital. another hospital i imagine that they are trying to get people to. >> right, mm-hmm, and that wasn't very far from st. john's, probably. i don't know joplin very well but it seems like a couple of miles from the st. john's hospital. >> we were actually, did you ask if we were in the middle of the
storm? >> were we in the middle of it or did you come up just after it? >> no, we were in the middle of it. we must have been sort of on the place that -- the place that we sought refuge was like a -- like a medical office building about a quarter mile away from the st. john's hospital and, i mean, we -- we saw power lines snapping and i saw a huge dumpster fly through the air, and i don't know -- if we weren't in the middle of it, we were pretty darn close and we were outside hovering over a 6-year-old child. >> and stand by, jamie, because it -- don't go anywhere, because i want you to walk us through. she has a number of pictures. each one as amazing as the next and you hear the voices screaming and that's because we had people on the phone, and they are standing out in the middle of this chaos and they
are trying, i would imagine, to be directed to move people back. so that's what you're hearing in the background. kathy dennis with the american red cross on the ground in joplin, missouri now. i would imagine you have seen a lot of disasters and talk to me about this one. how does this one rank when you look at the damage here. >> i don't think i've quite seen anything like this before in my life. this is quite devastating. would i say probably 75% of this town is virtually gone. >> and what about when you talk about town, you're talking about buildings and property and what about people? what have you witnessed? >> we're on main street heading down to the red cross office. actually it's taken us two hours to get there and people are walking everywhere. don't know where to go and we do have a shelter set up, and this street here is just -- i mean,
there is just knot nothing left on this street as we're on one of the main streets in town. >> we talked to kathy dennis from the american red cross. what do people watching this need to know about the folks in joplin? they are going to need a lot of help? >> they are going to need a lot of help. behind an ambulance right now and springfield is an hour away, and i can see things from everywhere that are just here to help. i've seen helicopters, and as far as what we're going to do, set up a shelter at mmsu and we're going to try to help people as much as we can. >> kathy dennis from the american red cross, stand by. >> still bethany scutti on the i-reporter. >> yes, i'm here. >> i want to talk to you about the four fatalities, that's according to the rns and then our jacqui jeras and our
meteorologist have some questions. bethany scutti is an i-reporter and she rushed down to the hospital. luckily she and her family are okay. she and her kids got to safety and she went to the hospital and described the scene and said it's devastating and spoke to an rn friend who said they lost four patients because the hospital was hit, and they are having to set up a triage unit. go ahead, bethany. >> yes, an rn said that they had lost four patients and in icu and another part of the hospital. i also spoke to someone that was working in respiratory at the hospital and said it happened so fast that they could get their bearings before they could move and she was in a stairwell, and she said it was just so loud that it was just a roar, and then they got everybody out as fast as they did.
>> jacqui jeras, do you have questions for bethany? how much of that hospital saw the damage? are there rooms exposed? i heard of chunks of the building that have been removed from the tornado. what is the building like? is it still stable? >> i would say it is not stable. it is hard to see to lower floors. the floors here are absolutely devastated. there's debris hang outside of the windows. part of the roof or the whole top of this is missing. i'm standing behind the hospital, and cinder block walls, wick brals are just crumbled. >> describe what your drive was like. ten miles north of the city, your drive, what did you encounter as you entered the devastated area? >> as i was driving in it was raining for me, and i drove south to get towards the hospital, and as i got closer
into maybe seventh street and downtown joplin, seventh street and main, apart from seeing debris on the road, the streets started to get very congested. they were blocking the roads to let the emergency vehicles through, and when i realized i couldn't get through this, i turned to go down a side street, i tried to go down 20th street which had a lot of devastation. started seeing trees all over. huge trees laying across the road. laying across houses and parts of the street torn up and there were power lines down. there were people just wandering up and down the street. some of them -- i saw a mother and two children walking down the street. i imagined that maybe they lost their home and were just walking around, but then i saw people walking around who were trying to help. walking around seeing if there was anybody they could help. people driving down the streets
and asking if anybody could use help, and as i got closer and closer it was just so much instruction. at one point i looked out and there was a house completely engumped in flames. i could see the smoke from distance and trying to see where it was coming from and then i could see it was from a house completely engulfed in flames all around it. just complete devastation. >> hey, jacqui and bethany, stand by, please. >> okay. >> it's just -- it's devastated to hear what bethany is reporting from the ground, and i have to say this, because this is an emergency situation, and i said that through social media that i had seen someone tweeting about help there. another one is coming through for nurses or doctors looking to help in joplin, missouri. there's a phone number to call, and they are asking you to call the greater ozarks of the red cross and asking for any medical personnel in the area who are coming to the area to help out.
of course, they want you to be safe. bethany, chad myers, after this break, i'm also hearing from people saying i want some analysis from chad and jacqui about what's going on and what's causing all these crazy and devastating storms to come through and cause so much damage. back here in a moment with breaking news here on cnn. the pictures are incredible. the stories are even more incredible of survival and of just living through this tornado that ripped through joplin, missouri. we're back in a moment. you're gonna want mr. fuzzyman even more now that we've discovered beneful playful life. with real, wholesome ingredients like beef, egg, and even oatmeal. extra protein for strong muscles. so you're ready for anything.
you think you're getting spoiled. but it's so good for you, too. [ female announcer ] beneful playful life. healthful, flavorful, beneful. dream big. beneful is awarding a $500,000 makeover for one very lucky dog park. ♪ thank you for that, and here's what's going to happen tomorrow! well, it's going to start with me wearing a different shirt. it doesn't matter what the weatherman says if you have a symmetrical all-wheel drive subaru
>> yes, it is, in north end. >> all right. the breaking news here on cnn. can you see it. it is that tornado. that slammed into joplin, missouri taking lives with it. you don't know how many, but i hear there are just dozens. dozens of reports -- reports of dozens of fatalities. homes that are completely gone. businesses leveled and one of the most devastating instances,
the hospital. the st. john's hospital in joplin. it is crippled. they are having to evacuate the hospital and set up a mobile triage unit. jaime green of "the wichita eagle" took these pictures when she was caught in the storm and our i-reporter bethany scutti is now at the hospital and is reporting on what's going on there. she said it is devastating. they have never seen anything like it. we had a representative from the american red cross join us just a short time ago saying that they were going to need all the help that they can get, and, of course, there are calls. they are asking any medical professionals in the area if you can make your way safely to the joplin, missouri area to come and help the people out there. they are also asking for the calls for red cross volunteers to come out and help as well. chad myers, before we went to the break, people are asking for
analysis, and they want to hear from the authorities here. they want to hear from you. what is going on that is causing all of this? >> the last time we had an outbreak like this, one accordingly in alabama the last couple of weeks and it was 1974. it has been a very long time and big cities get hit by such big tornadoes. those big tornadoes are out there every year. they are f-4s and ef-5s out there and much of the time they get range land. places that don't have a lot of town. we don't report on them. people are still injured and it's one and two. when you get tornadoes like we've seen, the size that we've seen. rolling through video it becomes a big story. this year we've had a kohler
than normal air outlook bumping into south and warm air always to the south. warm air doesn't come from the south. look at all the humidity and the heat. look at down in barbados. doesn't happen, small little things and warm air from the north clashes with the warm air that thinks it's already springtime. hey, i'm spring. we should be wife. cold air comes down with a cold front with an upper level system that comes out of northwest and it pushes this warm air up, and when warm air rise is it gets bubbly and the same warm air you feel in an aircraft flying across the country. you have rising current and we've pushed that rising hair and higher and higher in the sky and can get select tornadoes and that's happened and we're not really at a report pace for tornadoes.
it has really picked up when this cold air that has tried to push farther in the south a little later than usual, even planting from across the midwest has been delayed because the weather just isn't wet enough. cold air clashes with the warm air that's not already across the south. the south is warm all spring long and get the conditions like what we had in alabama a couple weeks ago and get conditions today that extend all the way from texas and earlier today you were on the air with it. we had tornadoes in henepin county, basically minneapolis, minnesota. 1,000 miles away from where this tornado was tonight. >> chad myers, stand by. >> our reporters and photographers who were there, shot these pictures and we're so grateful that you send them here to cnn and that you're joining us. here's what i had to say. the governor of missouri jay nixon activated the missouri
national guard in response to the tornadoes and severe weather that moved through the state earlier this evening. also there is a statement from senator from roy blunt. just coming across the wire. roy blunt says our thoughts and prayers go out to the families impacted by this devastating tornado in joplin while local officials are still assessing the extent of the full damages. i'm deeply satened by the tragic reports of loss and life and extensive destruction resulting from this storm. my staff and i will continue to monitor the situation closely and urge everyone to use extra precaution in the region. the first of the statements that come out. you can expect much, much more, especially from the government and you can probably i would very assuredly say a disaster area and probably a disaster area will be declared as well here. we're going to have more on the other side of the break, as many as 24. probably more people have died in this devastated tornado that hit joplin, missouri. [ wind howling ]
[ technician ] are you busy? management just sent over these new technical manuals. they need you to translate them into portuguese. by tomorrow. [ male announcer ] ducati knows it's better for xerox to manage their global publications. so they can focus on building amazing bikes. with xerox, you're ready for real business. were not like everyone else. because, you see, they had something most did not. they had a tree... a tree that bore the most rare and magical fruit, which they tended to, and in return, it provided for their every financial need. [ thunder rumbling ] [ wind rushing ] [ thunder crashing ] and then, in one blinding blink of an eye,
their tree had given its last. but all was not lost. you see, they were clever enough, with the help of their raymond james financial advisor, to have prepared for even the unthinkable. ♪ and they danced. life well planned. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you. my vet thinks my insides are in mint condition. [ female announcer ] vets agree, a healthy checkup starts inside. our breakthrough iams premium protection formula is developed with vets with cutting edge ingredients for the lifelong health of your pet. [ dog ] healthy inside and out. come on, up high! [ female announcer ] iams premium protection. our most advanced iams nutrition. ever. [ dog ] i am an iams dog. ♪ woof.
>> breaking news. i want to tell viewers that a tornado has ripped through joplin, missouri and taken out a big chunk of the town if not most of it. the pictures are incredible. we're getting reports of 24 people for now who have been killed and there could be many more. i want to take a look at pictures from jaime green who
shot the pictures from the hospital. one of the pictures that she shot was of a truck, an 18-wheeler on its side, and the reason i say that is because michael ratliff who is a storm chaser is on the line with us and helped us to rescue a truck driver so he saw this scene play out where he had to help rescue someone. tell us what happened and how is the person who you helped rescue. >> well, it happened, you know, the tornado was wrapped when it went through town across i-44 interstays which is a very busy interstate for truckers and when we come upon the scene just seconds after the tornado crossed the highway, multiple semis, seven to ten turned over on their side and ran up to the track, on its side. the window was halfway busted out. busted out the window, a driver inside. he was bleeding from his head and had a severe laceration on
his elbow at least down to the bone and once we got him and his pets we were trying to find the nearest hospital, and as you all know the main hospital for joplin which is several stories tall was missing part of the stories so it was just mass chaos and trying to navigate through town and debris and finally to the hospital. actually one of the last people that they were accepting. the hospital is full. i mean, they are just overwhmd. they set up several triage centers throughout the town. it's devastation. it's alabama all over again. >> michael, stand by. i want to hear more of your story. you said the hospital of the hospital gone, a big chunk of it. we heard reports of x-rays showing up miles away and according to one of our i-reporters an rn told her that four people had died in the hospital. we have a storm chairs on the
line. we have people who have taken pictures who are caught in the middle of it and an i-reporter actually at the hospital and, of course, very our wonderful experts here jacqui jeras and chad myers, and the governor now of missouri has sent out the national guard. they have been deployed. don't go anywhere. there's another way to minimize litter box odor: purina tidy cats. tidy cats premium line of litters now works harder to help neutralize odors in multiple-cat homes. and our improved formula also helps eliminate dust. so it's easier than ever to keep your house smelling just the way you want it. purina tidy cats. keep your home smelling like home.
it's true. you never forget your first subaru. somewhere in america, a city comes to life. it moves effortlessly, breathes easily. it flows with clean water. it makes its skyline greener and its population healthier. all to become the kind of city people want to live and work in. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest questions. and the over sixty thousand people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers. sadly, no. oh. but i did pick up your dry cleaning and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices... which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes.
you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. that's not how successful investing is done. at e-trade it's harnessing some of the most powerful yet easy to use trading tools on the planet to help diversify, identify opportunities, take action. it's using professional grade research and your brain to seek maximum returns to reach your goals. it's investing with intelligence and cold hard conviction. you made the money. you should have everything you need to invest it. e-trade. investing unleashed. breaking news on cnn. joplin, missouri devastated by a very powerful tornado that went
through. we don't know how big it was. let's show a new picture that we have from someone who is actually in the middle of this tornado. her name is ashley. she was in the walmart when it happened, and she took this picture. there you go. if that doesn't describe how powerful this system is and what people are going through in this area i don't know what does. let's low of this picture up. ashley is okay. we're glad. don't know how many people were in that walmart, how many people were hurt and how many people have actually been killed from this. and to get more information now is the governor of missouri. a state of emergency. have you deployed the national guard. please tell the country what the people of joplin are dealing with. >> well, first of all, it's total devastation with the hospital down, the high school down, other areas. bottom line. declared a state of emergency. we have guardsmen and boots on the ground there.
we've also brought in a search for survivors and with the number of buildings that are down, we brought in task force one. this was a group out of columbia, missouri that helped in 9/11 to search for survivors that have worked throughout the world. we want to make sure that if there are folks injured or covered that as the night gets dark that we're out there making sure we can have as many survivors as possible. >> so you don't know the number, and as i'm talking to you, governor, going through, just have a friend who is from that area. his name is steve ellis and he just e-mailed me and said my relatives are in joplin. friend, we need your help and a lot of people are dealing with a very similar situation, governor. we're hearing reports of 24 deaths in joplin. do you have any official count? i know it's going to fluctuate, but what are you hearing? >> we don't have an official count, but we have had confirmation of a number of deaths and the numbers appear to be rising. also dealing with that communications. i dispatched a few hours ago mobile communications vehicle,
so we've got solid communication among first responders down there. the cell phones may not work and other areas may not work but we're working hard to make sure with the highway patrol and with the local law enforcement and with the national guard. we have communication for the emergency responders down there and a shelter set up in missouri southern with the help of our faith-based partners and the bottom line we're responding aggressively quickly. we wanted to just make sure as the night goes on we're saving lives between now and dawn. >> governor, by a number of people who have come on our air, describing people there as walking wounded and saying they are walking around devastated and who believes this could happen to them. >> a sunday evening. it's a devastating storm. especially hitting the hospital and on the other hospital there. very, very helpful. bring in medical resources from other parts of the state and if people are injured, there are places for them. got folks there. they can get to that shelter which can provide and help us
provide that. we're actively involved in search and rescue and want to make sure we get as many people involved. if people are injured -- >> having a little bit of trouble hearing you. real quickly here, i've seen reports of calls going out asking for medical professionals in the area and also red cross volunteers. is that so? yes. >> we have a number of medical folks coming in from springfield and other areas coming right in to back it up. the triage system is working, a long night and a difficult recovery. >> and you've heard it from yourself for governor jay nixon of missouri. he's deployed the national guard and it is a state of emergency in missouri tonight. save on advil with our special coupon in select newspapers on may 22.
introducing crest 3d white enamel renewal toothpaste. it not only removes up to 90% of surface stains in just two weeks, it also strengthens and rebuilds your enamel. new crest 3d white enamel renewal toothpaste. life opens up when you do. personal pricing now on brakes. tell us what you want to pay. we do our best to make that work. deal! my money. my choice. my meineke.
all right. joplin, missouri will never be the same again. it is different. the map will change. because of this tornado that whisked through earlier this evening and caught a lot of people off guard. one person caught up in the middle of it was jaime green. her video on kansas.com. she's on the phone. roll the video and then we'll talk to her. >> kind of scared.
>> jaime green, it's dark and see the skies lighting up. was this before or after? was it dark when it happened, on did it get lighter and you took this after your initial pictures? >> i took this way before i shot any of the devastation. this is when i believe. my friend was like behind she -- behind me in another car. we didn't have really many options so we got out of the car shortly after i shot this. we huddled down and we huddled down over her daughter and out
in the elements but up against a wall, up against an office building. our only other option would have been to throw a bench through the glass window which we actually shot of. we decided not to, so that was, again, video taken a minute or two from before the tornado. >> let's get the picture back up. one that strikes me. the hospital one. another one with people. this one is going to personify at least in part the storm when you look at this. obviously you can see the windows are blown out. this is the one that gets me. the people in the back of the pickup truck. meteorologist jacqui jeras, you see how desperate people are. yeah. it real does tug at your heart. you knew there's been a lot of video online and tv reporters
who have been really overcome in this situation and saw one person break down and cry on national television. how devastating the situation is. a large part of a very populated area, joplin, missouri, as much as 175,000 people live in the city and the surrounding suburb areas and this is definitely a life-changing event for the people that live there. a lot of life has been lost. those numbers are questionable as to how many. we've heard as many as 24 and, unfortunately, those are going to continue to go up. those people are trapped in the homes. the hospital has been impacted and people won't -- are having to go to a different hospital and triages are being set up so this large scale search and rescue is taking place. we heard from the governor, you know, talking about bringing in the special task force to help find these people and they are trying to get in additional
medical help as well. so it's hard to put into words, it really is. >> yeah. it's devastating. jacqui stand by. just want to tell you just how this just breaks your heart. i have a friend whose grandmother is there. my grandmother is 8 it years old very near st. john's hospital. no one to reach anyone. no one is able to reach anyone. her name is betty schrader at 2904 ohio. if you have an on-the-ground contact, please check on her. i'm very distressed. so stephen was able to send that to me just because he knows me because i imagine a lot of that is going on among people who live there. >> hey, don, people checking on their neighbors. >> go ahead, jacqui. the red cross is tweeting on their website right now that people can help find others and let them know that they are okay via the web so that's one resource and there are also lists of shelters where people will be able to get some help as
well there. >> thanks, jacqui. don't go anywhere. more after the break, everyone. ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. hey, dad, think i could drive? i'll tell you what -- when we stop to fill it up. ♪ ♪ [ son ] you realize, it's gotta run out sometime. ♪
breaking news out of missouri. a tornado has gone through and really ripped up the place, and st. john's hospital at the center of this. joining us now is petroany scutti, our i-reporter. sum it up for us real quickly here, what you're seeing. at st. john's hospital they are now breaking down the triage center and getting the patients to other facilities. get whatever supplies they can and help out to the patients in need. bandages and all of this. crutches and wheelchairs. water and juice trying to get them to the patients that they need. >> and jaime green who shot these pictures in the video. can you believe you survived it and it's pretty hard to believe.
feeling pretty lucky right now. feeling pretty bad. going to be such a tragedy. >> you got some ten seconds for me to talk about this. >> i wanted to ask bethany real quick if she can give us an idea of what percentage of the town has been affected. i heard 75%. one woman we had on the air from the red cross. can you tell us how much. >> i wish i knew. i know the south side is looking really bad. gas leak at the hospital. >> we've got to run. only a few seconds on the air. wish we had more. i listen. thank you very much for joining us tonight and make sure you tune into "american morning" here on cnn starting at 6:00 a.m. eastern. break is news and other breaking news as well. there's been an arrest in the dodgers incident where the man who was put into a coma. they have arrested a suspect so, again, make sure you stay tuned to "american morning" at 6:00 a.m. i'm don lemon. thank you for watching.
good night. better than any other luxury brand. ♪ intellichoice proclaims that lexus has the best overall value of any brand. ♪ and j.d. power and associates ranks lexus the highest in customer satisfaction. no wonder more people have chosen lexus over any other luxury brand 11 years in a row. see your lexus dealer. everything you need to stretch out on long trips. residence inn. ♪ everything you need to stay balanced on long trips. residence inn.